Sounds crazy, but a recent study claims caffeine can shorten your life expectancy, but alcohol could increase it.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered that the specifics of the relationship between DNA and alcohol has been overlooked by scientists who now claim that alcohol can lengthen telomeres and increase life expectancy, while caffeine can shorten them.
They’re groundbreaking results, and it is expected to encourage a barrage of further studies into ageing, DNA and the food and drinks we consume, and how they affect us.
Telomeres are the end parts of chromosomal DNA and when they’re shortened, cause poor health and an increased chance of premature death. All of us have DNA in each of our cells, they are our genetic blue print. Like the hook and eye at the end of zips, telomeres keep the chromosome stable and prevent deterioration. As a person ages, and cells duplicate, telomeres become shorter and shorter. When the telomeres become too short, the cell dies. Ageing happens when cells die faster than we can replace them.
In the study, Professor Martin Kupiec and team grew yeast cells and exposed them to 12 environmental stressors, including caffeine and ethanol. They found that as little coffee as an espresso contains enough caffeine to shorten a telomeres length, while the ethanol in alcohol helped improve it.
“They found that as little coffee as an espresso contains enough caffeine to shorten a telomeres length, while the ethanol in alcohol helped improve it.”
Kupiec says “For the first time we’ve identified a few environmental factors that alter telomere length, and we’ve shown how they do it”. He says that “What we learned may one day contribute to the prevention and treatment of human diseases.”
“For the first time we’ve identified a few environmental factors that alter telomere length, and we’ve shown how they do it”. He says that “What we learned may one day contribute to the prevention and treatment of human diseases.”
In further tests, it was discovered that two genes, Rap1 and Rif1, are the main mediators between telomere length and environmental stressors. That is that these two genes act as the judge in court to control the effects of environmental stressors and telomere length. “This is the first time anyone has analysed a complex system in which all of the genes affecting it are known,” said Professor Kupiec. “It turns out that telomere length is something that’s very exact, which suggests that precision is critical and should be protected from environmental effects.”
So next time you’re planning to catch up over a coffee why not help put your telomeres and order a glass of wine instead.
Kupiec and team tested and scanned 6000 strains of yeast during this study
That ethanol you buy for car fuel is the same ethanol found in whiskey. The difference is that the car fuel has been distilled until it is almost pure alcohol (whiskey is made of 40% alcohol and 60%water)
Researchers are looking into alternate use for coffee beans. Some researchers revealed that coffee beans may replace fossil fuel as a main source of energy and motor fuel.
By BB Intern Dominique Tait
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